Divergence of Casimir stress in inhomogeneous media

William M. R. Simpson*, S. A. R. Horsley, U. Leonhardt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)
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We examine the local behavior of the regularized stress tensor commonly used in calculations of the Casimir force for a dielectric medium inhomogeneous in one direction. It is shown that the usual expression for the stress tensor is not finite anywhere within the medium, whatever the temporal dispersion or index profile, and that this divergence is unlikely to be removed through a simple modification to the regularization procedure. Our analytic argument is illustrated numerically for a medium approximated as a series of homogeneous strips, as the width of these strips is taken to zero. The findings hold for all magnetodielectric media.

Original languageEnglish
Article number043806
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Review. A, Atomic, molecular, and optical physics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 5 Apr 2013


  • Casamir force
  • Decay
  • Magnetodielectric media


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